Hang on to your hats, folks; an article via MedicalXpress discusses a topic some of us often dream of – a gene that could protect from obesity while consuming as much food as desired.
When RCAN1, a single gene, was removed in mice, and the same mice were given a diet high in fat, they did not gain weight, despite consuming fatty foods for an extended period of time, the article states.
A research team from Flinders University, led by professor Damien Keating, hopes to determine whether this gene could be effective for humans, in addition to mice.
The researchers conducted a study using a large genetic screen in rodents to distinguish novel genetic candidates that have the potential to trigger obesity.
“We know a lot of people struggle to lose weight or even control their weight for a number of different reasons. The findings in this study could mean developing a pill which would target the function of RCAN1 and may result in weight loss,” professor Keating says in the article.
It is important to note that there are two fat groupings when it comes to the human body – brown fat, which burns energy, and white fat, which stores it.
Blocking RCAN1 has the potential to transform white fats into brown fats, proposing a possible treatment for obesity, professor Keating says in the article.
“In light of our results, the drugs we are developing to target RCAN1 would burn more calories while people are resting. It means the body would store less fat without the need for a person to reduce food consumption or exercise more,” he says in the article.
I’ll admit that this possible treatment sounds pretty darn cool to me. However, before I get too excited about this, I’d prefer to see reports of the effectiveness of the gene in humans.